End of the Age News
By Jim Stigleman
Spending Cuts Equal Smallest Army Since WWII
In order to reach budget cut goals, the Pentagon has issued a plan to scale-back our army to 440,000 to 450,000 soldiers. Those numbers would make the army as small as it’s been since the start of World War II, when the army had a total of 267,767 men. The plan is part of a goal by the Defense Department to save the military nearly $10 trillion over the next ten years.
U.S. Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, stated that with the war in Afghanistan coming to an end and the Pentagon’s plans to shift its focus to the Asia-Pacific region of the world, a large land army is no longer needed. “This will be the first budget to fully reflect the transition DoD (the Department of Defense) is making after 13 years of war, the longest conflict in our nation’s history,” Hagel further commented.
If approved, the Pentagon is also planning to eventually do away with the air Force’s A-10 support planes, F-35s and a new refueling tanker. The U-2 spy plane will also be retired to be replaced by the Global Hawk unmanned system. About half of the DoD’s spending goes into military and civilian personnel costs, which will also face cutbacks.
Hagel further said, “We chose further reductions in troop strength and force structure in every military service – active and reserve – in order to sustain our readiness and technological superiority and to protect critical capabilities,”
Those who oppose such drastic reductions feel that these major cutbacks would result in “our forces being too small and out of balance with respect to readiness and modernization.”
National Standard Needed for Identity Theft Protection
In other national news…
The recent data thefts reported by Target and Neiman Marcus have spurred a new interest in Congress to institute a federal law that would determine how companies inform their customers of such breeches. Attorney General, Eric Holder, is imploring Congress to pass a law which would set a national standard for such circumstances.
“This would empower the American people to protect themselves if they are at risk of identity theft…It would enable law enforcement to better investigate these crimes – and hold compromised entities accountable when they fail to keep sensitive information safe,” Holder said in urging Congress to act.
With no “national standard” in place, 46 states and the District of Columbia have implemented their own laws informing companies how and when to inform customers of identity theft and what constitutes a security breech. These existing state laws have added an additional level of hindrances to getting a national law achieved. Attorney generals of several states feel that a national law would prevent them from prosecuting cyber criminals.
Seven Egyptian Christians Shot Dead in Libya
In world news…
After being forcefully abducted from their homes, seven Egyptian Christians were murdered execution-style and left on a beach in eastern Libya. The killings were in an area just outside Benghazi, where the Libyan government is failing at their attempts to contain heavily armed former rebels and Islamist militias running rampant in the area.
Witnesses say that the armed gunmen arrived at the apartment building where the Christians lived and abducted them after a door-to-door search, in which they were asked whether they were Christian or Muslim.
“They were killed by headshots in execution style…We don’t know who killed them,” a police officer stated. This is the second such execution-style killing in the area this year. No further details were available and no one has claimed responsibility.
I’m Jim Stigleman and this has been today’s ETA News.